Ex-Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher argues that Liverpool deserved a penalty against Arsenal: Ref Watch

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Former referee Dermot Gallagher dissects the flashpoints from the weekend’s Premier League action.

INCIDENT: The VAR David Coote says ‘no penalty’ after Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard handled the ball in the box at Anfield on Saturday night. DERMOT’S VERDICT: Wrong decision, penalty. DERMOT SAYS: “I will say my first reaction was that he has fallen and slipped and his arm has touched the floor. But he clearly does not, he slips – does a slip negate an offence? No – Does he move his arm towards the ball? The argument from the VAR is he makes his body smaller, but by making his body smaller he traps the ball so I think the more understandable decision would be to give a penalty.”

INCIDENT: Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold barges Kai Havertz over in the box, but referee Chris Kavanagh waves play on. DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision, no penalty. DERMOT SAYS: “Not for me. He is strong, it is shoulder to shoulder, also the ball is very close to them – if the ball has been way away from him, I get that, but the ball is within playing distance and he is just too strong for him and Havertz slips.”

INCIDENT: Should Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka have been given a second yellow card for a late tackle on Ryan Gravenberch? DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision, not a second yellow card. DERMOT SAYS: “Most definitely no. The first thing is he slipped and second, he definitely gets the ball, but he has absolutely no intention of fouling him. It is just an unfortunate coming together and a slip.”

INCIDENT: Forest defender Willy Boly is sent off after picking up a second yellow card against Bournemouth. DERMOT’S VERDICT: Wrong decision, not a second yellow card. DERMOT SAYS: “I cannot see how it can possibly be a foul or a second yellow card. What I would say is if you look at it again, there are four things that referees look for: the ideal position, he [Robert Jones] is looking sideways on, he sees where he [Boly] comes from, he sees where he makes the challenge and gets the ball and more importantly, he sees what direction the ball goes.”

INCIDENT: Forest are not given a penalty after Ryan Yates’s shot hits a Bournemouth player’s hand in the box. DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision, not a penalty. DERMOT SAYS: “I think you’d be very unlucky to give away a penalty for this, he has turned, his arms are tucked into his body – it strikes him, there is no doubt about that – but every time a ball strikes an arm or hand, we are not going to give penalties and people do not want that, they want penalties given for the right reason and not just given for nothing.”

INCIDENT: Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s ‘goal’ is ruled out for a foul by Andre Gomes on Tottenham left-back Emerson Royal after referee Stuart Attwell was asked to go to the TV monitor by the VAR. DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision, a foul in the build-up. DERMOT SAYS: “You see in that last angle, which the VAR [Michael Oliver] would have had – once you look at that, it is very hard not to say it is a foul. You cannot unsee it. So, if I’m the VAR and look at that and think, ‘that is a foul that has led to a goal, I think it is a clear and obvious error because I think it is a clear foul.'”

INCIDENT: Leon Bailey’s opener for Villa vs Sheff Utd is disallowed for an earlier foul by Jacob Ramsey on Blades ‘keeper Wes Foderingham. DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision, morally. DERMOT SAYS: “It is a foul on the goalkeeper as he traps his arm. What I would say is morally this is correctly disallowed because it is a foul on the goalkeeper. What I would say is there is no definitive time you can let them play on for before a reset, but I think the VAR [John Brooks] has pushed this to the absolute limit and probably a more palatable decision would have been to let the goal stand because the referee [Anthony Taylor] had not given the foul.”

INCIDENT: Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling is dragged to the ground in the box by Wolves defender Toti Gomes, only for referee David Coote to say ‘no penalty’ and give a free-kick to the hosts. DERMOT’S VERDICT: Correct decision as the referee had previously blown for a foul. DERMOT SAYS: “The referee feels Sterling committed the foul on the Wolves player. The fact it then goes into the box and Sterling is fouled is irrespective as once he has given the foul, no matter what you say about VAR bringing it back for a penalty, the referee has stopped the game.”

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